Burrator News

Hi Everyone,

  1. Burrator Discovery Centre is 3 years old!

The Burrator Discovery Centre is now 3 years old and celebrated in style on Sunday 25 June! Over 230 people came and took part in insect box building, cob oven pizza making, stick whittling, bread toasting, willow dragon fly weaving, ‘wood-get’ spinner making, owl pellet dissecting, charcoal sorting, tea drinking, cake consuming, learning about fly fishing and enjoying the exhibitions! In addition, Jacky delivered an ‘Introduction to wildlife photography’ session whilst Mike organised a raffle for his home grown oak trees which will be planted next year in the arboretum and dedicated to the 8 lucky winners. Thank you to everyone for coming, to our fantastic volunteers for helping with all the preparations and running the brilliant activities, and for enabling us to fundraise over £800!

“We just wanted to say thank you so much for a wonderful family day! It was so well organised and a great turn out of people to enjoy the celebration. We all had a fabulous time & the boys loved the activities. We really enjoy coming to Burrator!”


  1. Burrator Volunteers Win Award!

On Wednesday 24 May 20 of our volunteers attended the DNPA Awards Ceremony held at Princetown Visitor Centre. The Burrator Volunteers won First Prize and were presented with the Edward Morshead trophy, plaque and cheque for £250. These are now on display in pride of place in the Discovery Centre. I would like to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone that has ever volunteered (individually, as part of a group or on an employee day) at Burrator, on behalf of every visitor that enjoys exploring this beautiful area!

“Watching the Discovery Centre come to life.  What we as a group of SWLT staff and volunteers have achieved.  There are a number of us retirees’ here and we all bring different skills from our varied past careers.  It’s reusing those skills to benefit others.  There are many things I have enjoyed and I can’t remember ever having a bad day!” 

  1. Young Carers Week

On Tuesday 13 June as part of Young Carers Week we hosted an activity day for 25 young carers from 4 Plymouth secondary schools – Notre Dame, Hele, Sir John Hunt and Stoke Damerel Community College. They made mini mallets and wooden mice, cooked over the camp fire and took on the inner reservoir trail challenge.

 “It was great and I enjoyed all of it! I love the smores especially.  It was awesome that the weather was so nice and the sights were beautiful! Thank you so much!”

  1. Learning at Burrator can be fun!

Earlier this year we developed an exciting partnership with a Dartmoor Home Education Network and have been delivering monthly sessions since March, covering the Bronze Age, habitats, navigation, how to make charcoal and a practical conservation day which involved rhododendron clearance.

Between April and June we delivered visits for some new primary schools Woodfield, Lifton and Mayflower, and Year 9 Geography students from Ivybridge Community College. We also welcomed back some regulars ACE, Mount Kelly, Shiphay, Focus and Tavistock Community Primary School.

“I loved the filters activity, I’d like to try that again and I now know where my water comes from.” (Pupil)

 “The visit enabled the children to witness their local habitat and the creatures living there in a hands on way. This knowledge will directly transfer over into our science and art topics for the rest of the term.”  (Teacher)

  1. Family time, wildlife and the great outdoors

Over the Easter holidays and May half term we held our regular family activity drop in days and we are seeing lots of familiar faces.  Activities have involved baking garlic bread and hot cross buns over the fire, making wooden mice, as well as art, trails, spontaneous den building, and a Easter egg trail!

In addition during our recent Sunday Wildlife Watch session we learnt about the fantastic properties of sphagnum moss with Jaz from Devon Wildlife Trust, and on Friday 16 June we held our first moth evening which included a fascinating talk by Tony John and identifying what was caught in the moth traps, which had us all captivated!

  1. 61 Years Ago – The Day we Lost our Railway

On Thursday 15 June, we were visited by 25 members of the Plym Valley Heritage Association to have a talk on the railway by our very own expert Brian Poole, followed by a short guided walk along a section of the old ‘line’. One member recalled using the train to travel to work in Plymouth from Princetown every day.

Photo by Robin Blythe-Lord

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